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Women and strength training, your experience and advice please

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  • #31
    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
    I think Stumptuous is Canadian.
    Oops - sorry. Hope I didn't offend anyone!

    A trainer who won't show you deadlifts? Fire her, I say! I've been so lucky with my trainer as he's been on board with what I wanted to do right from the start and pushes me further than I would have the confidence to do by myself. He's even starting to ask me lots of questions about paleo/primal eating which is fantastic.


    • #32
      Unsure why she wouldn't show you both types of deadlifts - my previous trainer at another facility only taught me Romanian deadlifts as well - they are great but it is good to do both types. My previous trainer appeared to be concerned that deep squats would hurt my knees, but since I've started to do deeper squats with my new trainer my knees feel much better. It has been hard to teach my body the right way to squat however - after 3 years of doing squats without my butt going lower than my knees...I seem to be past that though.

      My current trainer teaches us that we are capable of far more than we think and he works on getting us there - but he also teaches us how to avoid injury at the same time. I am lucky to have him for sure!


      • #33
        Sounds like a much better trainer.
        "Go For Broke"
        Fat Kine-230/24% @ 6'2"
        Small Kine-168/9%
        Now- 200/8%
        Goal- 210/6%


        • #34
          To be fair, when I started with the earlier trainer I could barely move, was inflexible to an extreme & was close to 60 pounds heavier than I currently am - so his focus was certainly understandable. He gave me what I needed at the time and got me moving


          • #35
            I had the best experience with my PT in regards to the deadlifts. He went through my form, corrected one thing, one THING! And now I crawl out of the gym on the shaking legs after the deadlifts that shifted the emphasis to the right muscle so much. He also did 4 or 5 different deadlifts with me. And he finally get me to do the back rows correctly so I actually train my back now. JOY!

            I am just wondering what a trainer can do after we go through all the exercise and he corrects my form and all that. I have 5 sessions booked with him, we are up to session 4, iirc, and I am wondering what I can be doing if I retain a PT for monthly training for the next year.
            My Journal:
            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


            • #36
              Originally posted by Leida View Post
              I am just wondering what a trainer can do after we go through all the exercise and he corrects my form and all that. I have 5 sessions booked with him, we are up to session 4, iirc, and I am wondering what I can be doing if I retain a PT for monthly training for the next year.
              I think it depends on where you are and what your goals are. I went to my trainer with a little bit of knowledge but not enough to be sure that I'd train in a balanced way and not end up with muscle imbalances or injuries. I also had wrecked knees from half marathon training so needed a lot of rehab - I couldn't even do a 1/3 squat (bodyweight) without pain when I started. If I'd been training myself I'd have just thought that I couldn't do squats and would have left it at that. I now have no pain and am back squatting - only 30kg for now, but that's just for starters.

              I'm continuing my trainer once a week, long term - because he mixes it around every week so things are never boring, because it's always fun, because he really motivates me, because I'm seeing improvements way beyond my expectations. And, erm, the fact that he's hot has absolutely nothing to do with it


              • #37
                Originally posted by Leida View Post

                I am just wondering what a trainer can do after we go through all the exercise and he corrects my form and all that. I have 5 sessions booked with him, we are up to session 4, iirc, and I am wondering what I can be doing if I retain a PT for monthly training for the next year.
                For me a trainer provides motivation/accountability, prevents me from injuring myself, and has the expertise and knowledge to know exactly how to target what I need targeted and how to mix things up properly. Right now I do both group and individual training with the same trainer, though once I've completed my current individual training package I will have to let that drop for now - it isn't inexpensive. I will still do his group training though so will still derive some of those same benefits.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by spuggygirl View Post
                  Oops - sorry. Hope I didn't offend anyone!
                  Don't worry, we're a difficult people to offend. Or at least if you do offend us, we'll be all passive aggressive about it and apologize in a way that makes you feel like a heel

                  The best trainers I've worked with have been people with phys ed degrees and/or other certifications (national coaching qualifications or similar) beyond a simple PT cert. That kind of trainer is harder to find but is definitely worthwhile.

                  I don't have a trainer now, but I spend a lot of time researching and learning more about lifting and planning programming for my partner and I. He's got more lifting experience than I do, but I'm a research nerd and enjoy digging stuff up for both of us to read/watch and incorporate into our programs.

                  I also highly recommend finding a workout partner if you can. I work out with my SO, but I think finding a friend, co-worker, or whoever to lift with can be helpful because that person can watch you and remind you if your form is going off, and it's nice to have a spotter. The encouragement of a partner really helps me too (not cheerleading, though--that drives me nuts). I know not everyone is into working out with someone else and that's cool, but I think if one doesn't have a trainer, a gym partner can be a good support for a lot of people.
                  “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                  Owly's Journal


                  • #39
                    To be fair to the trainer I hired, she was working with a nearly 50-year-old woman who sits at a desk and struggled to press 20lbs on her first day. She did tell me that I have excellent mobility and all that, though. And I think we just ran out of time, too, because I only hired her for 3 days.

                    I have been observing all the people as I go in each day. There haven't been any other women that I've seen who use the power cages. There are a few men who do, but a lot of them do things poorly. However, there are one or two men who appear to be doing the Starting Strength program or perhaps Stronglifts, but they show up so randomly. When you are a student, you aren't stuck trying to fit things in before or after work, I guess. I worry there'd be the appearance of the whole cougar thing going on if I just started talking to some of these young men, so I'm just trying to become a familiar face for now.

                    If I see the guy who does power cleans again, I think for sure I'll ask him if he'd show me how. I keep wanting to try power cleans or power snatches but I feel like an idiot trying to do it in front of everybody in there, being the only person doing an active lift like that with the possibility of looking like a complete fool who obviously doesn't know what she's doing. It would only be worse for me being a 40+ year old little fat lady fool, too.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                    • #40
                      Thanks for all your advice .. I've found a trainer at the gym to help me start but I will look up those website before I go so I know what sort of basics I need to start with. Seems to be a massive gap in the market for paleo women advice.

                      Feeling great about being back in the gym again .. it's very mixed (age/gender/ability) but the young bucks do tend to hog the free weight area if you go after 1800. Hence I'm going to learn and practise earlier until I have some inking about what I'm doing.

                      Not sure I fit into the 'cougar' image but that made me laugh!!! Thanks.


                      • #41
                        Starting strength was designed for high school, teenage boys playing football... not for 50 something women. Not to say the book is not applicable... the workouts, the form, etc., are crucial for someone new to strength training.

                        You ask some good questions but don't list out your stats (age, height, weight, etc) or your specific goals. If you provide that information, we can point you in the right direction.


                        • #42
                          My stats are in the footer of every message.

                          I'm finding that starting strength is a little too aggressive for me. I feel like I have crashed. I plan to scale the whole thing back. First I'm going to take 10 or 20lbs off what I've worked up to. Then I will make much slower and smaller weight increases. A pound at a time instead of 5. No more than 5lbs in a week on any one of the lifts. And forget any power-anything lifts.

                          I don't know when I will go back into the gym. I've so far skipped two workouts, but I went backpacking this weekend and the last mile included 2000ft elevation gain. I was starting to feel a little bit recovered until I went and did that. So I haven't decided if I will go to the gym later today or just forget about it until I feel fully back to normal.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                          • #43
                            what i have found is i can do big weights but i am better doing less but doing the full ROM and concentrating on form. i also, at our age lmao, really really am precious about avoiding injuring myself. i find if i go hard with weights and then overdo the walking around up and down hills, i crash. i dont stop moving, i just eat too much and feel miserable. lose my ability to concentrate etc none of which i enjoy. it becomes a slippery slope of bunking off too which is also no fun in the long run. my advice is to find some spot where you can see that you can do this for the rest of your life. push and challenge yourself every day but be smart about it. i guess the parallel would be that you need to keep something in the tank at all times in case that sabre tooth tiger leaps out from behind the bushes and you have to out smart it or out run it.


                            • #44
                              SBHikes, I've just started The New Rules of Lifting For Women and am enjoying it so far. It seems that the women I've encountered on other online forums that have followed and completed this program have had impressive results. If SS is too aggressive for you, perhaps you should check out NROLFW.


                              • #45
                                When I started lifting, I was completely fed up with trying to lose fat, because it wasn't working no matter what I did, and I just focused on getting stronger. I think the diet/exercise combo is different for everyone, but what worked for me was:

                                1. I cut carbs and ate more fat, and overall had lower calories, on non-lifting days.
                                2. The only carb-ups I did were immediately post-lifting. Specifically, I'd go lift for an hour and then go have sushi, which is high in carbs and protein and very low in fat.
                                3. I only did 3x/wk, max. Heavy lifting wears your body out more than anything else. I was shaking every time I left the gym.
                                4. I ate as much meat and vegetables as my heart desired. I, too, did about 100g protein/day.
                                5. The only other exercise I did was walking my dogs and a weekly sprint session.
                                6. I belonged to a gym that was strictly lifting, not a globogym. It was an old-school strongman gym. Lots of regulars there practicing oly and powerlifting at high weight with impeccable form. They never minded if I had a quick question about a lift and were always happy to help. I think being in this environment helped me progress a lot faster than I would have at a 24 Hour Fitness-type place.

                                This all worked really well for me as far as getting stronger. I made serious strength gains and felt fantastic. The number on the scale didn't change, but I must have lost some BF because my muscles were bigger and stronger. However, I never leaned out. I did Leangains for a while and it had no effect on my body comp. But I did get stronger.

                                I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, but I thought I'd just lay out what worked for me when I was doing Starting Strength.

                                Your progression in strength sounds amazing! You made some fast gains!